David Broder on How to ID
An Iowa Republican
The Iowa Republican Straw Vote--a high-stakes elimination contest that in past years has sidelined the ambitions of such prominent people as Dan Quayle and Elizabeth Dole--is coming up again next Saturday. And, as usual, questions are being raised about the legitimacy of the voting process.
The Iowa GOP, which uses the event as a fundraiser, encourages presidential campaigns to provide free admission tickets and bus transportation to the fairgrounds in Ames. Eight years ago, there were charges that many out-of-state residents were bused in to vote.
This year, the state GOP vows it will be different. Prospective voters will be required to show an Iowa driver's license or military or Iowa college ID, plus proof of age. "This will be a very secure and strict process," the party insists.
In addition to the electronic scanners and the 300 credentialing volunteers, the state GOP has a an anti-fraud secret weapon it can deploy.
Veteran Sen. Chuck Grassley plans to attend, and to walk from the front of the line of prospective voters to the back, applying his own eyeball test of their Iowa bona fides. Grassley, who has been in one office or another since 1958, says, "If they don't recognize me, they're not from Iowa."
--David S. Broder
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